Using Node.js to access Azure IoT Hub

By now the Cloud strategy of Microsoft must be very clear. It’s not about Windows, it’s not about Office, it’s not about Microsoft programming languages even. Microsoft is opening up towards all devices, operating systems, programming platforms, etc. Everybody is welcome in the cloud.

Although this is going on for quite some time, it is still a surprise for quite a few non-Microsoft developers. So today I decided to program against the Azure IoT Hub using another language, just to check out their experience.

Microsoft supports multiple programming languages, there are multiple SDK’s available:

If your favorite language is not listed here, but it talks MQTT, AMQP or HTTP, chances a big you can build your own SDK.

Today I picked up Node.js because I know a bit of javascript 🙂 Let’s check out what Javascript developers have to do to connect to an Azure IoT Hub.

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The Photon as a weather station, connected to Azure IoT Platform

A few weeks ago, Jon Gallant asked for beta tester for the Azure IoT Platform integration with the Partical platform (Beta Testers Needed for Particle to Azure IoT Integration).

This was great news to me. I have a Photon Azure Starter Kit laying around and I tried once to connect it to the Partical platform.


The kit has potential: it comes with a SparkFun Photon Weather Shield:


And on the shield are already attached:

  • Humidity/Temperature Sensor – HTU21D
  • Barometric Pressure – MPL3115A2

And it has two RJ-11 connectors for Weather Meters like this one:


But that initial (EventHub?) integration was not quite intuitive and I had more projects to work on. So I moved on.

Now, I had a second chance to make the Photon work!

The first steps are to register your unique Photon device and attach it to the internet (it has a Wifi chip onboard).

If you go to the online IDE, you can write code for your Photon and flash (deploy) it ‘over the air’. This is fun, as long as your Photon is online (wherever it is running), you can contact it using a browser.

The integration tutorial, the blog of Jon Gallant, is very straight forward regarding making an Azure IoT Hub integration. You only need an Azure IoT Hub and a specific access policy.  This will help you in sending a string from the Photon to the hub.

Update: Another useful tutorial comes from the Particle site and it shows how to send some integers.

But sending a JSON message is less intuitive.

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